Christian writes about Kettlebell training in Sussex Active magazine.

Sussex Active


Kettlebells by Christian Vila

Kettlebells by Christian Vila

The biggest things to hit the fitness industry, Kettlebells are creating major-hype in the U.S. Now they’re taking the U.K by storm, with many celebrities and sportsmen touting their effectiveness for getting them in shape and increasing fitness. Kettlebells guru, Christian Vila, who runs the successful Brighton Kettlebells, told SussexActive what makes it such an effective training programme

Kettlebell training is one of the most effective and exciting ways to train. It will burn fat; make you very fit, flexible and super-strong.  Brighton Kettlebells are proud to be the first club to bring kettlebells to Sussex, with six classes a week for all abilities, at two locations in Brighton and Hove.

So…. what are kettlebells and why should I use them?

Kettlebells look like a cannonball with a flat bottom and a handle moulded to it.

Kettlebell training returns us to learning how to use our bodies better, as one unit. All the moves are ground-based, and get you back on your feet, away from machines or benches. Because you are using so many muscles, the energy demands of kettlebell exercises are much greater than conventional gym exercises.

This means you’ll be burning up to 1,200 calories per hour when you’re well conditioned and become proficient in the various exercises. Compare this to 400 calories when running on a treadmill for an hour! Furthermore you’ll be boosting your metabolism, so you’ll be burning more fat for up to 36 hours afterwards!

What size do I need?

This really depends on your activity level, fitness level and your own body weight. Kettlebells go up in increments of 4kg, from 4kg to 40kg.

Most women start with a 4kg kettlebell. If you’re active and used to resistance training you can start with an 8kg or 12kg Kettlebell. It’s important you understand that you need to feel the weight working your body. The same applies to men. Most inactive guys just starting out need to start with a 12kg kettlebell, and will quickly progress to the 16kg and 20kg bells as they become used to the foundation exercises. If you’re an athletic man, who regularly exercises and plays sport, you can start at 20kg. As a general guideline, if you can do 50 push ups, 10 pull ups and around 100 bodyweight squats, you are ready for the 24kg kettlebell.

The thing that shocks most of our clients is how much easier the exercises get if you use a slightly heavier weight. If the bell is too light, the exercises doesn’t feel right and form is lost.

What are the exercises?

There are hundreds out there, but I’ll outline three basic moves to give an idea of whats involved:

THE DEADLIFT: Holding a kettlebell in both hands, the arms are kept straight, towards the floor and maintaining a neutral posture you bend your knees until the Kettlebell rests on the floor, before slowly standing up again. Great for firm bums and posture.

THE SWING: An all-over body exercise where you swing the kettlebell back wards and forwards between your legs using the forward thrust of the hips.

THE SQUAT: Here you hold the kettlebell against your chest with arms tight to the body whilst squatting to the floor, keeping a straight back and head up. This works the thighs as well as your abs.

 How do I start?

With so much room for error with these exercises, professional instruction is a must for anyone undertaking kettlebell training.  Brighton Kettlebells offers a Beginner class, were you will learn the fundamental moves, before progressing to our Intermediate and Advanced classes.

You can try our classes for free here: TRY FOR FREE!

Christian Vila


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